SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington State University Provost Robert C. Bates recently announced the appointment of Winsor Schmidt as chair of the Department of Health Policy and Administration in the College of Pharmacy at Washington State University Spokane.

Schmidt is the inaugural chair of the department, which began its official operations as a separate academic unit on April 1. The department offers a master’s degree in Health Policy and Administration and is the first new department at WSU since the establishment of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1990.

“I am honored to be appointed the inaugural chair of the department,” Schmidt said. “I hope to continue to help make the department one of the best health administration programs in the West and a significant contributor to the Spokane health services community and ‘World Class’ Washington State University.”

During his four years at WSU Spokane, Schmidt led the program’s successful accreditation by the Accrediting Commission on Education for Health Services Administration. The degree program is the only ACEHSA-accredited member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Western Regional Graduate Program, which allows residents of 14 western states (Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming) to enroll at Washington resident rates of tuition.

As a professor at WSU Spokane, Schmidt has taught graduate courses in Law and Ethics of Health Management, Government Regulation of Health Services, and Mental Health Policy and Law. His research focuses on health, mental health, and elder law and policy. His numerous publications include the books: “Public Guardianship and the Elderly” and “Guardianship: Court of Last Resort for the Elderly and Disabled.”

Schmidt received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a law degree from American University and a master’s of mental health degree from the University of Virginia.

WSU Spokane offers the master’s degree in Health Policy and Administration for individuals who want to prepare for leadership positions in a rapidly changing health care system. The program provides working students and students interested in developing and improving healthier communities with the knowledge, skills and values to be skilled health service administrators and community health policy leaders; conducts research focusing on community health service management and policy enhancement; and serves as a resource for health service organizations, programs and policy settings in metropolitan Spokane, eastern Washington, the Inland Northwest and communities across the nation, through service activities and outreach.

Students enter the Program with a variety of undergraduate degrees, ranging from business and public administration, public policy studies, pre-law, or communications to biology, pre-medicine, or health service administration.

For more information about the program call Kiley Schenk, academic coordinator, at (509) 358-7987 or visit the WSU Spokane web site at http://www.spokane.wsu.edu.